(WMC-TV) – Close to 1 million members of an international church are putting their faith to work by participating in clean-up projects in Memphis and around the world.
The clean-ups are sponsored by the World Mission Society Church of God.
With garbage bags and lots of determination, volunteers from the Southaven congregation fanned out along the banks of the Mississippi River in downtown Memphis to collect trash.
The volunteers say the clean-up projects going on around the world are meant to honor the 96th anniversary of the birth of their church's founder.
"We would like to glorify the founder of our church, that's Christ Ahn Sahng-hong, because of his coming we decided that this is the 96th anniversary of his coming from the time that he came and we thought that we could glorify him by coming down here and cleaning up the Mississippi River," said church member Andre Purkett.
The World Mission Society Church of God started in South Korea in 1964. Since then, it has grown to more than 2 million members and 2,200 churches worldwide.
In addition to the clean up, the volunteers are hoping to reach out to others and encourage them to do things to protect the environment, rather than harm it with litter and debris.
"We want to show God's love by keeping the world clean," said Tiara Whitehorn.
Church members say they sponsor clean up projects several times each year and their work in the community has been recognized by everyone from Memphis Mayor A C Wharton to President Barack Obama.
For more information about the church and its clean-up projects, click here.
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